Siyam Hoque

2020-06-03 09:46:48 BdST

HC wants info on COVID-19 situation in prisons


The High Court on Tuesday wanted to know what condition the prisoners and prison staff across the country are passing through during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The court asked Deputy Attorney General Amit Talukder, state counsel of the HC bench concerned, to collect the information from the jail authorities and provide it to the court on June 15.

The High Court bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim passed the order during a virtual hearing on a writ petition filed by a Supreme Court lawyer, Mohammad Shishir Manir.

The lawyer filed the petition on May 17 seeking HC directives on the authorities concerned to take necessary measures to protect the prisoners and prison-staff from coronavirus infection.

The bench, however, adjourned hearing on the petition till June 15 after DAG Amit Talukder opposed the petition, saying that the coronavirus pandemic has not deteriorated in the prisons.

The High Court also asked petitioner Advocate Shishir Manir to monitor the situation inside the jails through media reports by this time.

Shishir Manir submitted the petition as a public interest litigation to the High Court requesting it to order the authorities to take measures to maintain social distancing among the prisoners and prison-staff and other health guidelines.

In the petition, he prayed to the High Court to ask the inspector general of prisons to submit a report to the court on the preparedness and steps taken in order to protect the prisoners and prison-staff across the country from coronavirus outbreak.

Advocate Shishir Manir, in the hearing, said there are reportedly around 74,000 prisoners in 68 prisons across the country where the accommodation capacity is for 41,244 prisoners.

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